Election Day, November 1884
By Walt Whitman
If I should need to name, O Western World, your powerfulest scene and show,
'Twould not be you, Niagara—nor you, ye limitless prairies—nor your huge rifts of canyons, Colorado,
Nor you, Yosemite—nor Yellowstone, with all its spasmic geyserloops ascending to the skies, appearing and disappearing,
Nor Oregon's white cones—nor Huron's belt of mighty lakes—nor Mississippi's stream:
—This seething hemisphere's humanity, as now, I'd name—the still small voice vibrating—America's choosing day,
(The heart of it not in the chosen—the act itself the main, the quadrennial choosing,)
The stretch of North and South arous'd-sea-board and inland-Texas to Maine—the Prairie States—Vermont, Virginia, California,
The final ballot-shower from East to West—the paradox and conflict,
The countless snow-flakes falling—(a swordless conflict,
Yet more than all Rome's wars of old, or modern Napoleon's:) the peaceful choice of all,
Or good or ill humanity—welcoming the darker odds, the dross:
—Foams and ferments the wine? it serves to purify—while the heart pants, life glows:
These stormy gusts and winds waft precious ships,
Swell'd Washington's, Jefferson's, Lincoln's sails.
I didn't have a very eventful Thursday. Folded laundry, watched the first X-Files movie because we realized we didn't have it recorded and I hadn't seen it in forever, uploaded thousands of pictures which only got me through the beginning of 2005. The bunnies seem to be readying themselves for winter -- I haven't seen them in the past couple of days, not sure if I was walking too early or too late -- but the deer family with five fawns was right in our yard.
It was a complicated TV evening, switching between the DNC -- Obama is still the best public speaker on the planet -- and the Nationals and Orioles games, the former of which involved more fighting than baseball and the latter of which had major playoff implications -- and the Orioles hit three home runs in the eighth and are once again tied for first! Here are some photos from the Maryland Renaissance Festival, the less rainy of our two Faires last weekend:
Dancing the Maypole
Looking To Eat 'Deserts'
Squire of the Wire
Skink on a Sun
Beating the Heat